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Mapping forest characteristics at fine resolution across large landscapes of the southeastern United States using NAIP imagery and FIA field plot data

Author(s):

Joseph St. Peter
Jason Drake
Paul Medley

Year:

2018

Publication type:

Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Primary Station(s):

Rocky Mountain Research Station

Source:

ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. 7(4): 140.

Description

Accurate information is important for effective management of natural resources. In the field of forestry, field measurements of forest characteristics such as species composition, basal area, and stand density are used to inform and evaluate management activities. Quantifying these metrics accurately across large landscapes in a meaningful way is extremely important to facilitate informed decision-making. In this study, we present a remote sensing based methodology to estimate species composition, basal area and stand tree density for pine and hardwood tree species at the spatial resolution of a Forest Inventory Analysis (FIA) program plot (78 m by 70 m). Our methodology uses textural metrics derived at this spatial scale to relate plot summaries of forest characteristics to remotely sensed National Agricultural Imagery Program (NAIP) aerial imagery across broad extents. Our findings quantify strong relationships between NAIP imagery and FIA field data. On average, models of basal area and trees per acre accounted for 43% of the variation in the FIA data, while models identifying species composition had less than 15.2% error in predicted class probabilities. Moreover, these relationships can be used to spatially characterize the condition of forests at fine spatial resolutions across broad extents.

Citation

Hogland, John; Anderson, Nathaniel; St. Peter, Joseph; Drake, Jason; Medley, Paul. 2018. Mapping forest characteristics at fine resolution across large landscapes of the southeastern United States using NAIP imagery and FIA field plot data. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. 7(4): 140.

Cited

Publication Notes

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/56140